Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Reviewed by: S. Tran
Starring: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy
Director: Ridley Scott
Running time: 164 minutes
The third film in the trilogy by director Christopher Nolan has some high aspirations but in the end falls flat due to lazy plot devices and an inability to resist melodrama. While entertaining at times the story is not nearly as clever as it thinks it is and sags under the weight of it’s own self importance. But probably most tragic for a superhero film it forgets to bring the fun.
The film takes place eight years after the events of the second movie. Bruce Wayne (Bale) has become a hermit, hobbled by the battles that have taken a toll on his body. Gotham is in a period of relative peace and prosperity. This is of course is the perfect time for the latest villain to come to Gotham with a grand plan to do bad villainy-type things.
The events bring Batman out of retirement and even the earnest protests of his faithful servant Alfred (Michael Caine) can’t stop Bruce from putting on the mask again. I really enjoyed Caine in the first two films but here his character seems to be trying too hard to inject some heart into the story. Bale is a very talented actor but his creepy Batman voice makes me laugh more than anything. The two do share some of the film’s best scenes though as Bale does not really have very good chemistry with the ladies in the movie.
New characters played by Hathaway and Gordon-Levitt are also introduced. One is a nice addition to the cast and the other seemed curiously out of place. I’ll let you decide for yourself which was which.
Hardy plays Bane, the latest super villain to target Gotham. As far as villains go Bane suffers from having to follow Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker and is handicapped by the fact that his face is half covered by a mask. What was a difficult task is made almost impossible. Even without the mask, Bane would have been a fairly uninteresting character, just another tough guy, but with a vaguely British accent.
The plot of the film is somewhat of a disappointment as it contains remnants of prior films. The biggest problem is that nothing really comes together very well. There are some big ideas that are thrown around but then everything dissolves into some fairly non-sensical resolutions with an ending that reminded me more of the 1960’s campy Batman episodes.
Nolan seemed to be so concerned about making a statement about something that he forgets about telling the story properly. This results in a lot of short cuts being taken, people knowing things without explanation, events happening to advance the plot that do not make sense. For a movie grounded in realism its even more unsettling than if it happens in a move like the Avengers that makes no pretensions about reality.
At a cost of $250 million the movie has all the production values that kind of money brings and in the end you will be entertained. It’s just not going to be the best blockbuster of the summer.
3 out of 5 stars.